Last Updated on March 11, 2021
Whatever problems one may encounter in life, the ultimate stress reliever will always be food. Whether it’s munching down on a quick snack or passionately blending ingredients measured to absolute perfection for a full-course meal, spoiling your taste buds with your favorite flavors never fails to blow away the problems of today – even if it’s just for a moment. And so, food is undeniable an important part of our lives – it is one of the rare pleasures in life that is both a need and a want.
Additionally, one of the most enjoyable hobbies one can undertake is homemade cooking. Not only is cooking your own food a delightful experience, but it is also a life skill that should not be passed up if the opportunity arises – plus, it’s a cheaper alternative to fast-food in the long run (and a healthier option at that).
However, the art of homemade cooking is a craft that is to be learned over time. Not only would you need to patiently invest a lot of effort, but you would also need to set a budget for cooking essentials such as a regular supply of ingredients and more importantly, kitchenware. Kitchen equipment is obviously a necessary step you need to take notice of especially when you are just beginning to get into cooking.
While there are many options for necessary tools to have in the kitchen which can also depend on what type of skill you want to improve on (baking, grilling, etc.), there is one important cookware that should be a part of your budget list, and that is the cast-iron skillet. The cast-iron skillet is a highly durable tool kitchenware that is built to withstand extreme temperatures and to perform well with any cooking technique – from tenderly grilling steak to baking homemade pizza.
Simply put, the cast-iron skillet can do it all. Don’t know where to get started? Well, here are six of the best cast iron skillets currently for sale in the market.
1. Lodge Blacklock 96 Skillet
Crafted by the oldest and most reputable cast-iron cookware brand in the United States, the Lodge Blacklock 96 Skillet is the noteworthy result of years upon years of dedication to the art of quality cooking that has been passed along through several generations of the Lodge Cast Iron company beginning in 1896. The Lodge Blacklock Skillet definitely keeps up with the high standards set by the company for its product lineups as it boasts a number of features and capabilities that you rarely see in the average-standard cast-iron skillet.
Some of these features include a triple-seasoned surface that can be used straight out of the box, lightweight cast iron material (25% lighter than standard Lodge cast-iron skillets) which is designed for optimal heat retention – allowing for even heat distribution especially at low heat settings that is perfect for browning or searing, and a vintage-looking handle which is designed both for aesthetic appeal and ergonomics.
A tribute to the original designs of the Lodge cast-iron skillets released a century ago, the Blacklock 96 is a nonstick skillet which allows freedom of movement due to its light yet sturdy design which will last in your kitchen for years. Different sizes are available for the Blacklock 96, starting from the 7-inch variation up to the 14 ½-inch model.
2. Milo Ultimate Skillet
When choosing the best cast-iron skillet for your needs, you might encounter the word “enameled” during your search. Basically, the major difference between an enameled cast-iron skillet and a regular cast-iron cookware is that enameled skillets do not need to be pre-seasoned in order to create non-stick surfaces to cook on. Plus, the enamel coating would also prevent the build-up of rust and corrosion due to highly acidic ingredients such as tomatoes and honey.
And based on the current lineup of available skillets, the title of the best enameled cast-iron kitchenware goes to the Milo Ultimate Skillet. Besides the affordable price tag that comes along with the Milo Skillet – which happens to be relatively cheaper than most enameled skillets you see in the market nowadays, the beautifully designed Ultimate Skillet took the industry by storm with notable features such as a durable surface which can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and compatibility with induction cooktops.
Priced at just $95 and weighing at approximately 6 pounds, the 10-inch Milo Ultimate Skillet is both a lightweight and a budget-friendly enameled cast-iron skillet that matches up to its more expensive competition, flaunting an arsenal of features which can easily surpass industry standards in both its premium design and bang-for-your-buck performance.
3. Victoria 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet
Enamel-coated skillets aside, what keeps people still coming back for the traditional cast-iron skillet is the gradual build-up of the seasoning on its surface which is enough to make the cookware last for years. It simply just gets better with time. And one of the most durable and best performing regular cast-iron skillets is none other than the Victoria 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet.
Kickstarting operations as early as 1939, the company behind the Victoria Skillet definitely has enough experience in the industry to vouch for its guaranteed safety and durability. Although available at different sizes, the Victoria Cast-Iron Skillet shines the most at the 12-inch variation, boasting features such as excellent retention and distribution of heat on the entire surface of the skillet which can warm up your food for up to 15 minutes at a time.
Additionally, the design of the Victoria 12-Inch Skillet is intentionally curved, and the handles made longer and wider than most skillets in the market for better portability and cooling even when exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time. The Victoria Skillet is also coated with 100% non-GMO flaxseed oil seasoning which improves the non-stick capabilities of the skillet over time without posing any risk of health hazards to the user even after several years have passed.
As a matter of fact, the pre-applied seasoning of the Victoria 12-Inch Skillet contains healthy minerals such as iron which gradually seeps onto your cooked meals over time. From carefully handled pies to huge chunks of steak, the Victoria 12-Inch Skillet is the perfect cast-iron kitchenware for your savory needs.
4. Field Cast-Iron Skillet
With the prominence of vintage-looking cast-iron skillets in the market which are crafted based on century-old blueprints, there are some who prefer to take the modern route when it comes to their cast-iron cookware – and the Field Company happens to be the best of the bunch. The signature Field Cast-Iron Skillet of the kitchenware company happens to be one of the best performing and critically praised cast-iron skillets in the industry as of date.
Designed with scientifically backed techniques in mind, the Field Cast-Iron Skillet was made to replicate the style of the vintage skillet but with a modern twist to its build. Besides its satisfyingly smooth surface, the Field Skillet is also extremely lightweight for its size. With the #8 (10-inch) model just weighing at around 4.3 pounds, the Field Skillet can be comfortably handled for long periods of time.
Although it requires several uses for the non-stick seasoning to gradually take effect on the surface of the cookware, the Field Skillet is approved by many households due to its wonderful performance in the kitchen which just gets better over time. Besides the 10-inch model, there are other sizes available for the Field Skillet from the 6-inch skillet which is perfect for quick bites to the enormous 13-inch variation which can hold up to five steaks at a time.
5. Smithey No. 10 Cast-Iron Skillet
Another cast-iron skillet on this list which banks in on the “nostalgia” trend by tastefully (no pun intended) clashing the designs of old with modern applications is the Smithey No. 10 Cast-Iron Skillet. Not only is the cookware an artistic tribute to the vintage cast-iron skillets, but it also performs just as well as its older counterparts – perhaps even exceeding their standards.
Manufactured with heavy-gauge iron, the Smithey No. 10 is definitely built to last in your kitchen for several years and to serve as an heirloom to be passed along for the generations to come. The remarkably smooth and polished surface of the Smithey No. 10 is pre-coated with seasoning which allows the cast-iron skillet to cook right out of the package. Each use of the Smithey Skillet will only add to the already impressive non-stick and even heat distribution performance of the cookware from the get-go.
To complete your cooking experience with the vintage-inspired kitchenware, the Smithey No. 10 also comes with features such as an ergonomic helper handle, a sturdy three-finger front grip, convenient holes on both sides for easy storage, and strategically placed pour spouts. Weighing at around 5 pounds and measuring at a diameter of 10 inches, the Smithey No. 10 is the perfect cookware if you’re looking for a cast-iron skillet that has both stunning craftmanship and an ergonomics-oriented performance that will last with you for a very long time.
6. Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet
Yet another addition to this list from the Lodge Cast Iron company is none other than the signature Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet. This classic cookware has won the hearts of both veteran chefs and casual cooking lovers alike for its ever reliable and long-lasting performance which gets the job done every time.
Unlike its premium-line Blacklock counterpart, the classic Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet is geared towards budget-conscious buyers who are looking for kitchenware which can masterfully deliver in any situation and with any cooking technique. Whether it’s for searing, grilling, or anything in between, the Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet is the best way to go every time.
As the name suggests, the smooth surface of the Lodge Skillet is pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil which not only improves the non-stick features of the cookware over time, but it also helps in evenly distributing and consistently retaining the heat within the skillet to optimal temperatures. True to its ‘for-the-masses’ branding, the 12-Inch Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet is currently offered on Amazon for the sweet price tag of around $46, a long-shot from its more expensively priced competitors.
Moreover, as a cool addition to the package, every purchase of the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet comes with a red dishwasher-friendly silicone holder which can withstand peak temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect for any location and occasion, from grilling in the comfort of your home backyard to deep frying in the middle of the woods, the Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet is hands down the best lifetime cooking companion to have in any situation.
Still unsure if you even need a cast-iron skillet in the first place? Well, among many other noteworthy features, cast-iron skillets are most known for their remarkable durability and flexibility with any cooking technique possible. Hand-me-down skillets is a common occurrence within most households due to its virtually indestructible nature. Plus, cast-iron skillets are also known for being low maintenance. All it takes is soap and water to keep a skillet in tip-top shape and ready for the next use in a jiffy.
Of course, these are just some of the several cast-iron skillets out in the market which can skillfully deliver regardless of the cooking technique. However, if you’re looking for the best place to start, the brands mentioned in this list would definitely be good starting points on your quest for the best-performing kitchenware that fits in like a glove with your cooking needs.
If you’re still confused with the many cast-skillet options available, then the most important features you should look out for in choosing the best-suited product would be seasoned surfaces and the durability of the material used for important parts of the skillet such as the helper handles.
Besides the aesthetics and other bonus features that come with a skillet, the most important purpose it must serve at the end of the day is to assist and enhance the cooking experience. Although being aware of the price tag is a must, shelling out a few more bucks for a reliable and long-lasting cast-iron skillet will always be a wise investment. You do not want to be on the receiving end of a cheap skillet’s handle breaking down while pouring out boiling hot cooking oil.